For a beach trip to go as planned, two things have to happen. First, our family needs to have fun, relax, and enjoy our time with each other. Second, we must return home with loads of yummy fish to cook up in a cast iron skillet. I’m happy to report that our last beach trip was a huge success! We came back with a huge supply of fresh redfish to feast on, so I made this blackened redfish dish.
Oh how I love a blackened fish fillet. It’s so tasty with its perfectly crunchy crust, and it just feels healthy while you’re eating it! Light, wild-caught proteins like fish are a mainstay in our house.
Adding to the blackened redfish experience is an amazingly creamy caper butter sauce. Doesn’t a pour of melted butter make everything better? Sure, it adds a few calories, but you’re starting with low-fat, low-calorie fish. You can even serve with small ramekins of extra sauce.
Also try the butter sauce with my Horseradish Dijon Mashed Potatoes.
Why use redfish for this recipe?
There are two great things about redfish: they are fun, to catch and they are one of the tastiest fish in the ocean. Thankfully, our last beach trip resulted in a bountiful harvest of redfish.
There are a few other names for this fish, depending on where you live. You may hear it referred to as red drum, channel bass, puppy drum, or spottail bass. But no matter what it’s called, it’s still a joy to catch and eat!
Who invented blackened redfish?
Blackened redfish was one of the first dishes that Chef Paul Prudhomme made to introduce America to Cajun seasoning and cooking. Home cooks have been thanking him ever since.
Cooked on high heat in a large cast iron skillet or frying pan, this dish can’t be beat. However, feel free to use catfish, tilefish, red snapper fillets, or any white flaky fish for this recipe — it will still be delicious.
Why Blackened Redfish Tastes So Good (It’s the Spices!)
The biggest key to mouthwatering blackened fish is the spice mix. In this recipe, garlic, paprika, black pepper or white pepper and cayenne pepper, dried thyme leaves, oregano leaves, and other spices make a seasoning blend that pops with flavor.
Another secret to blackening is the method of cooking — namely, the high heat of the skillet or pan. Blackening is a technique that causes a crust to form on the outside of fish, steak, chicken, and other meats. You’ll need a smoking hot skillet, a mixture of herbs and spices, and butter.
That’s it! This recipe is super simple to make, and really there is no better way to make redfish magic.
How to Make Blackened Redfish
Here is the recipe with step-by-step instructions.
Note that the blackened fish may appear burnt, but it’s merely darkened from the milk solids in the butter along with the herbs and spices cooking at high heat in a skillet.
You will need to make sure your cooking area is well ventilated! The skillet needs to reach the smoking stage, so blackening by nature produces a great deal of smoke. However, the smoke does not mean the dish is burnt. Not to worry, I can guarantee your fish, or whatever you plan to blacken, is going to be delicious.
Blackened Redfish Recipe
- 4 redfish fillets
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- 6 tablespoons butter cold and unsalted
For the Blackening Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a small bowl, mix wine, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, capers, and garlic. Place the fillets in the sauce for a few seconds on each side. Remove fish to a plate.
- In a saucepan, bring the wine mixture to a boil and reduce by half.
- In a small bowl, add all the blackening ingredients and mix until combined.
- In another small bowl, add the melted butter. Coat each piece of fish liberally with the butter then coat both sides of the fish with the blackening mixture.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until smoking. Once smoking, place 2 fillets in the skillet. You will have smoke from the skillet at this point, or a flame, but it will reside and your fish will be excellent. Allow the fish to sit without moving it for at least one minute. Once it releases a bit from the skillet (around one to two minutes), turn the fish and cook for another 2 minutes or until the fish is done. Remove to a platter. Repeat with the other two fillets.
- Finish caper butter sauce by adding a tablespoon at a time of cold remaining butter to the sauce and stirring until the butter is melted. Add the next and repeat until you have a creamy looking, silky textured sauce. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve.